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Bryan Talbot: Secret Chief of Comics
07.17.2009
02:48 pm
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Bryan Talbot is the man who invented modern comics. But you’d never know, because he’s one of the most unsung artists in the field.

Talbot’s Luther Arkwright comic started off in the mid-seventies as a pastiche of Michael Moorcock’s Jerry Cornelius character, but by the time Talbot had completed the series in the eighties, he’d ended up laying down the template from which Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Neil Gaiman, Garth Ennis and the entire Vertigo line of comics sprang from. Talbot borrowed not only from Moorcock and the British New Wave (of science fiction) but also film techniques like Nic Roeg’s use of cross-cutting, ending up with a particularly potent mix of subject matter, characterization and technique that would inspire practically the entire next twenty years of “mature readers” comics.

(Warren Ellis on Luther Arkwright: “[It’s] probably the single most influential graphic novel to have come out of Britain to date… probably Anglophone comics’ single most important experimental work.”)

Arkwright is an albino assassin who drops out in the sixties, gets stoned, activates his psychic powers, ends up in a parallel England where Oliver Cromwell’s rule never ended, attains enlightenment in a tantric sex ritual, and is charged with leading a revolution against the brutal Puritan regime. Somehow it’s a lot more complicated and cosmic than that?

Posted by Jason Louv
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07.17.2009
02:48 pm
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SNAPE DOES BECKETT
07.17.2009
01:59 pm
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While I was never a fan of Anthony Minghella, or his limp entry in the Ripley sweepstakes (for some truly great Ripley action see this, or definitely this, then, if you’re curious about Patricia Highsmith, maybe read this), I’m a huge fan of both Beckett, and the always entertaining Alan Rickman (not that Beckett, too, can’t entertain).  The 4-disc Beckett On Film ranges, in my mind, all over the place in quality, but I think the set’s standout is definitely the Minghella-helmed version of Play, starring the melancholy Snape himself.  Let’s see…Rickman’s in an urn between the also-urned Kristen Scott Thomas and Juliet Stevenson, and, well…just push “play!”  (You’ll need to push it twice, though: Play II follows below.)

Play II

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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07.17.2009
01:59 pm
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Karl-Heinz Stockhausen is not amused
07.17.2009
11:24 am
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Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.17.2009
11:24 am
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ROSWELL: THE WONDER YEARS
07.17.2009
11:16 am
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Can “firing up the imagination” be a bad thing?  When you’re young, autistic and, oh, scared shitless by UFOs, I’m afraid the answer is “yes!”

A Sussex primary school has been accused of terrifying pupils after pretending a teacher had been abducted by aliens.   The stunt by Southway Junior School in Burgess Hill was intended to promote creative writing skills, reports the Daily Mail.  Head Diana Goss told pupils an alien craft had crashed near the school and pupils were encouraged to ‘follow a trail of debris’ before stumbling across the UFO.  Sussex Police set up a crime scene around the crashed craft and supplied a police constable and a community support officer for two hours to help the children produce witness statements.  Pupils were told that Joy Law, the school’s learning support teacher, who is responsible for special needs pupils, had been abducted.

Parents condemned the school for ‘terrifying’ their children and claimed teachers had gone over the top in trying to ‘fire their imagination’.  Linda Molds, whose son Harry, nine, is autistic, said: “Harry will take everything you say literally, so when he was told aliens had taken Mrs Law away and the police were investigating - and then he actually saw the police - he believed every word.”

Lisa Maynard, 34, whose nine-year-old daughter Ashleigh is also a pupil at the school, said: “It was just too realistic, too dramatic. All the police, the sirens, the cordon - it was just too much.”  The school has released a statement saying: “The children were reassured throughout the morning that they were perfectly safe. They produced some excellent creative and factual writing.”

Sussex Police said: “The police input was well-intentioned, and it was thought pupils would have a fun day.”

School Scares Pupils With Alien Stunt

Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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07.17.2009
11:16 am
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The Lost Inventions of R Buckminster Fuller
07.17.2009
10:59 am
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Interesting essay about the “lost” patents and inventions of Buckminster Fuller:

Buckminster Fuller sought patents for his works to document in an enduring form what an individual could invent for the betterment of humanity.  A primary resource for Fuller?

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.17.2009
10:59 am
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“Where the Wild Things Are” Vinyl Toys
07.17.2009
10:33 am
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First glimpse at the wonderful toys from Spike Jonze’s film adaptation of “Where the Wild Things Are.” These look great. So does the trailer. I can’t wait to see it! (via We Love You So)

Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.17.2009
10:33 am
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Derek Jarman on the Economy
07.16.2009
11:38 pm
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Check out this “credit card commercial” from Derek Jarman’s “The Garden” (1990). Sums up our current situation rather well?

Posted by Jason Louv
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07.16.2009
11:38 pm
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Diego Stocco’s “Music From A Tree”
07.16.2009
08:20 pm
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Um, wow! Sound designer and composer Diego Stocco says:

In the garden of my house there’s a tree with lots of randomly grown twigs. It looks odd and nice at the same time. One day I asked myself if I could create a piece of music with it.

To tune the tree I picked a fundamental note and tuned the twigs by trimming them with a pencil sharpener. I used two R?ɬ?de NT6 and a NTG-2 as microphones, combined with a customized stethoscope.

I recorded the tracks live on a Pro Tools LE system. I didn’t use any synthesizer or sampler to create or modify the sounds. All the sounds come from playing the tree, by bowing the twigs, shaking the leaves, playing rhythms on the cortex and so on.

Photos and a more detailed description here

 

Posted by Tara McGinley
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07.16.2009
08:20 pm
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WISE BLOOD, YES, BUT BLACK HEARTS BLEED RED
07.16.2009
08:15 pm
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What with the acclaimed release of Brad Gooch’s long-in-the-works biography, and Criterion’s recent reissuing of John Huston’s WIse Blood, I’m guessing Flannery O’Connor‘s receiving more NPR airplay this summer than the latest Moby offering.
Last week, I spent some time with the Criterion disc, and let me tell you, despite the usual “mentat intensity” from Dourif, Wise Blood has NOT aged well.  So, when you’re hankering for some Southern-fried gothic but don’t have the time—or patience—for a full-length feature, you might wanna check out Black Hearts Bleed Red, Jeri Cain Rossi’s 1992 film adaption of O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard To Find.”  It’s satisfyingly austere, lacks Wise Blood’s grating soundtrack, and hey, who’s that misfit with a rifle?  Why, it’s Joe Coleman!

Jeri Cain Rossi’s Black Hearts Bleed Red
 
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Posted by Bradley Novicoff
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07.16.2009
08:15 pm
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The Poppy Family: Beyond the Clouds
07.16.2009
06:58 pm
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Recent discovery and obsession: The late sixties Vancouver, British Colombia band The Poppy Family. Imagine the Mamas and the Papas if they’d gone off their meds, they had sitars and tablas, and they’d been, you know, good. Apparently they had the biggest hit of all time (all Canadian time) in 1969 with “Which Way You Goin’ Billy?” off their album of the same name. I’ve had that album on constant iPhone repeat and it never, ever gets old. It’s classic West Coast pop, but from the opposite end of the coast from California. You can almost hear the gloom creeping in from the Rockies…

Apparently the CD still hasn’t been re-issued, and it’s impossible to find on vinyl?

Posted by Jason Louv
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07.16.2009
06:58 pm
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